When it comes to exciting the palate, few cities can rival San Francisco, and a local psychiatrist offers a sampling of dining spots to help you plan your tasting menu while at the IPS this fall.
San Francisco, in all of its seven-by-seven-mile glory, is home to just about anything and everything one could want in a city, from the breathtaking views and beautiful landscapes to the culturally diverse neighborhoods filled with local eateries, shops, and art. When you visit the City by the Bay, here are a few suggestions, arranged by neighborhood, for sampling the restaurants that have made the city one of the world’s most celebrated culinary meccas.
Sushirito: Is it sushi? Is it a burrito? Enjoy one of the most interesting Asian fusion places in San Francisco. Only open on weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. (59 New Montgomery Street)
Super Duper Burgers: A good contender for the best fast-food burger place in the city—sorry In-n-Out. (721 Market Street)
Kokkari Estiatoria: Authentic Mediterranean food is the specialty. Definitely try the lamp chops and zucchini cakes. (200 Jackson Street)
The Cavalier: Two well-known San Francisco restaurateurs have opened the spot for a very California take on classic British pub food. The San Francisco Chronicle recently gave it a three-star review. (360 Jessie Street)
Sons & Daughters: The small restaurant notes that it is “influenced by the seasons, unique elements of their garden, and the surrounding Bay area. The approach to the food is thoughtful, delicate, and displays clarity of ingredients.” (708 Bush Street)
Hayes Valley is rapidly becoming the local neighborhood most like a European city, which you will see as you stroll on Octavia Boulevard (which used to be a freeway overpass). Enjoy Alamo Square Park and observe the “Painted Ladies”—the iconic Victorian-style houses that appear in so many photographs of San Francisco.
Jardinere: Come for the good selection of wine and mouthwatering French cooking. (300 Grove Street)
Little Star Pizza: Delicious pizza pies are the specialty. Enjoy their selection of deep-dish or thin-crusted pizzas. (846 Divisadero Street)
This storied neighborhood is a great place to shop for reasonably priced San Francisco souvenirs as well as to view streets adorned with Chinese lanterns and art. As its website says, “San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America,” which means that it is a vibrant and bustling neighborhood, not just a tourist destination. Here are just a couple of the many excellent dining choices.
R&G Lounge: Genuine Chinese cuisine is featured. Try the whole fried crab or the sea bass. Since at most Chinese restaurants the most authentic food is not listed on the menu, you might want to go with someone who is an expert in Chinese food. (631 Kearny Street)
Golden Gate Bakery: Stop by for fabulous egg tarts. (1029 Grant Avenue)
Explore the streets in this up-and-coming neighborhood, which are filled with small shops offering art and other product from Latin America, and choose one of these spots to rest and treat your taste buds.
Pakwan: Come for the delicious, authentic Indian food with generous portions and even more generous prices (note: it’s cash only). Try the mango lassi drink. Outside seating is recommended. (3180-82 16th Street)
Taqueria Cancún: Arguably this is the best Mexican food place in the city, with large portions and a fun atmosphere. (2288 Mission Street)
Bi-Rite Creamery: Its wide selection of delicious ice cream (salted caramel, honey lavender, coffee toffee, brown butter pecan, etc., is unbeatable, with a flavor for everyone!) Enjoy a cone while relaxing at Dolores Park. (3692 18th Street)
Stroll in this beautiful oasis, including the Conservatory of Flowers (100 John F. Kennedy Drive), Stow Lake (boat rentals available), Botanical Gardens (9th and Lincoln Way), and the Japanese Tea Garden (75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive). Enjoy the California Academy of Science and the de Young Museum and walk up the black-clad tower of the de Young for a great view of the park and the Golden Gate Bridge. Every Friday night there are wine, live music, and special events. (55 Music Concourse Drive)
Marnee: Quality Thai food in a comforting atmosphere is the reason to stop by. Try the pad see ew and any of the curries. (1243 9th Avenue)
Ebisu: The menu offers an incredibly fresh selection of sushi and Japanese dishes. (1283 9th Avenue)
And remember that news about this year’s IPS is available on Twitter at #IPS2014. ■
Peter Forster, M.D., a psychiatrist in Belmont, Calif., is the local arrangements liaison for this year’s Institute on Psychiatric Services.
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